By Kalea Hall
Boardman soon will welcome the newest Covelli-operated Panera Bread in the Valley.
The drive-through location on Market Street is set to open at 6 a.m. Aug. 19.
“It’s always exciting to be able to open a Panera, an O’Charley’s or a Dairy Queen in the Valley because this is where our home is,” said Allen Ryan, director of corporate affairs.
Construction on the Panera began in the spring by DeSalvo Construction of Hubbard and should finish up within the next two weeks. Covelli operates about 250 Panera locations in four states and Canada.
There is a Panera in the Shops at Boardman Park in Boardman operated by Covelli that is continuing to do well, Ryan said.
Niles is the closet location with the convenience of a drive-through.
“Convenience in this day in age is important, so to be able to give them the same quality food in a convenient way we thought our customers would like.”
Approximately 50 employees have been hired for the new location, with half of those positions full time. Some of the managers were brought in from other locations, but, for the most part, new applicants were hired.
For the grand opening of the location, Ryan said that specials will be offered. Those have yet to be revealed.
Covelli has an additional 10 Paneras “in the pipeline” to open outside of the Valley, Ryan said.
Locally, Boardman residents have expressed excitement for the new Panera, Ryan said.
“They are probably most excited about the drive-through and having another option,” he said.